If you knew that eating a certain food could:
· Contribute to weight gain
· Make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen
· Interfere with the absorption of calcium and magnesium
· Cause headaches
· Damage your heat
· Hurt your liver
· Cause depression, and
· Contribute to Alzheimer’s disease
Would you make an effort to reduce or eliminate your intake of that food?
Sugar can have all those negative effects and more. Don’t worry you don’t have to give up your sweet tooth to cut down on sugar. I have a few simple steps you can take to limit your sugar intake.
Stick with Whole Foods & Avoid The Packaged Stuff
Avoiding packaged and processed food is a great way to avoid sugar, as well as other ingredients that are just not good for your body. If you do purchase a packaged product, be sure to read the label. If sugar, or one of the many other names for sugar (sucrose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, corn syrup, lactose, maltose, dextrose, malt syrup, molasses, cane juice, raw sugar, and cane syrup) is one of the first few ingredients, or if the product contains a long list of ingredients you don’t recognize, your best bet is to put it back and make a choice that is better for you.
Glycemic indices of five varieties of dates in healthy and diabetic subjects
If you stick with foods that are natural, organic, and don’t require labels to decipher what’s actually in them, you’re way ahead of the game. Take a banana, for example. It’s naturally packaged for you but contains only one ingredient...banana! You get the idea. The more you select whole, real food, the less likely you are to fall into the sugar pit.
Shopping Tip: Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store where they tend to place the produce and fresh food. The center isles are brimming with packaged, processed garbage.
Read Labels – and Know Where Sugar Is Hidden
Cook At Home
Cooking at home gives you a lot more control over what goes into your food. But you still need to read labels. You’ll find sugar in a lot of unexpected places so pay attention. When you do cook and take a little time to shop smart, you’ll know that your ingredients are fresh, organic, real, whole foods without a bunch of added junk. Need some more motivation? Research suggests that people who cook at home live longer.
Cutting down on sugar doesn’t mean that you can’t satisfy your sweet tooth; find foods and recipes that use some of the sweetener options listed below. You’ll be satisfied, happier, and healthier as a result.
Stevia is a sweetener produced from the leaves of the stevia plant. It has a strong and bitter taste on its own. If you use too much, you probably won’t like it, so start with a very small amount. My advice is to play around with it and try to find amounts and recipes that work for you. I like liquid stevia better than the powdered version.
Lucuma is a tropical fruit. Lucuma powder is used by many as an alternative sweetener. It’s low in sugar and contains carotenes, vitamin B3, niacin, and iron.
Date paste is a good alternative sweetener because it contains fiber and beneficial nutrients like B-vitamins and iron. Though dates are high in natural sugars, a 2011 study published in the Nutritional Journal, showed that consuming dates did not result in a significant spike in blood sugar.
Raw Honey, Grade B Maple Syrup, and Unsweetened Apple Butter (In Limited Amounts)
These alternatives are still really just a form of sugar, but are considered better options as they have not been highly processed and contain some health benefits as well. For example, raw honey contains beneficial enzymes whereas more processed honey products don’t. Just remember not to overdo it --- they are great choices, in limited amounts.
Note: Never give raw honey to infants under the age of one, as it may cause infant botulism, a gastrointestinal sickness caused by exposure to bacterial spores.
Is sugar a cancerous poison? By The Week Staff; April 18, 2011
Gottfried, S. (2013) The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol
Is Agave Nectar Safe? by Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM. Published on November 9, 2009, Last Updated on April 25, 2013
146 Reasons Why Sugar Is Ruining Your Health by Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.
10 Things You Don't Know About Sugar (And What You Don't Know Could Hurt You)
Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D.
Posted: 07/30/2013 8:22 am